CD8α+ Dendritic Cells Are the Critical Source of Interleukin-12 that Controls Acute Infection by Toxoplasma gondii Tachyzoites

Mona Mashayekhi, Michelle M. Sandau, Ildiko R. Dunay, Eva M. Frickel, Asis Khan, Romina S. Goldszmid, Alan Sher, Hidde L. Ploegh, Theresa L. Murphy, L. David Sibley, Kenneth M. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

217 Scopus citations

Abstract

CD8α+ dendritic cells (DCs) are important in vivo for cross-presentation of antigens derived from intracellular pathogens and tumors. Additionally, secretion of interleukin-12 (IL-12) by CD8α+ DCs suggests a role for these cells in response to Toxoplasma gondii antigens, although it remains unclear whether these cells are required for protection against T. gondii infection. Toward this goal, we examined T. gondii infection of Batf3-/- mice, which selectively lack only lymphoid-resident CD8α+ DCs and related peripheral CD103+ DCs. Batf3-/- mice were extremely susceptible to T. gondii infection, with decreased production of IL-12 and interferon-γ IL-12 administration restored resistance in Batf3-/- mice, and mice in which IL-12 production was ablated only from CD8α+ DCs failed to control infection. These results reveal that the function of CD8α+ DCs extends beyond a role in cross-presentation and includes a critical role for activation of innate immunity through IL-12 production during T. gondii infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalImmunity
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 26 2011

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